Prayer is something that has been a part of my life from a very young age. This was, however, all through institutions such as school forcing it upon me. Making me join in singing songs about God and praying in assembly. “He’s got the whole world, in his hands,” we’d sing.
There is nothing wrong with encouraging children to understand and connect with the magic of God. But when the ‘teachers’ don’t even know about, know what, or know why they are teaching, then this is when things get misty.
It didn’t take me long to ‘figure out’ what I was being taught was tosh. And it took even less time to come to the conclusion that there is no God and the belief in otherwise was, well, unintelligible. It just couldn’t make sense in my head- a human-like Lord who resides in the sky and impregnated a virgin (unconsented also by the sounds of it), who punishes the bad and rewards the good.
But nobody, ever, taught me it was all a metaphor. Not even tried. It was either God is and you’re religious, or God isn’t and you’re atheist. I was always fascinated with the middle ground.
So very recently I’ve started praying again. Only actually meaning it. Meaning to have a conversation with God. But tonight I sort of stopped midflow, deflated at the realisation that God isn’t anything really, no all powerful, seeing, caring entity that will always be there to make sure I’m OK. No, that’s my responsibility. It dawned on me that when speaking to God, I am not speaking to a seperate being, but merely speaking to myself. Whether you want to call it soul or Higher Self, or whatever. But we are really just speaking to ourselves when we pray. Because if we are all One, this is the only possibility.
So as this thought sort of washed over me in what could almost be described as disappointment, that tiny voice that we all hear (but don’t all acknowledge), whispered to me: You are, and remain, a part of me.
I don’t know where it came from, I don’t think I need to.
I just smiled in the dark and said Amen.